Thursday, August 29, 2013

You Have Failed Me for the Last Time

This week has been an exciting one for people who like dolls - American Girl released its new fall products and the Ever After High Legacy dolls were revealed on Facebook. Even without the high expectations I had after seeing their fantastic summer releases, I don't think I've ever been so disappointed with a release from either American Girl or Mattel's Ever After High line. As someone who prefers paper dolls, I'm not talking so much about the costs (although I was appalled when I saw the $110 price tag on the new American Girl salon chair) as about the designs of the products. Overall, they seem trite and bland at best, with a bit of "What were you thinking?" (I'm not going to go into the Bitty Baby re-design since I haven't made any Bitty Baby paper dolls and most likely will not.)

A few specific complaints:

The colors are not the worst, but I cannot imagine who thought it was a good idea to put leggings under shorts. Is this actually a trend? (EDIT: Someone in the comments mentioned that it is a new trend, and that they style leggings and shorts this way. I apologize if I caused any offense; I don't mean to cast aspersions on anyone's personal style. It's just not a style that's to my taste.) Also, why are they releasing shorts in the fall line? I may try to adjust this outfit and make a different version for Alina, but as of now I am very unimpressed.

Again, I don't hate the color, but I dislike the skirt. While the summer release was all about trendy and fashionable attire, the puffy skirt makes the dress look odd. The dress would be much more attractive if they made it a red peplum sheath dress and kept the shoulder detail. 

Too much pink, not enough interesting or original details. McKenna's was much more visually appealing (and will probably become a part of Alina's wardrobe). This just reeks of bland knockoff.

Mattel, when I said that I would make Raven if you made her a better outfit than the one she comes with now, this is absolutely not what I had in mind. The headdress is overpowering, as is the cape clasp, and what is going on with those pants? The shoes are a bizarre and unattractive hybrid of open toe heels and leather boots with some studs thrown on to look more "rebellious," and I don't see the purpose of the waist chain belt and the tulle (shouldn't one be enough to define the waist?). The only redeeming factors of this debacle of an ensemble are the shirt and cape, but those aren't enough to save this mess. Mattel, would it really be so hard to make an outfit for Raven that contains colors other than black, purple, and silver? Raven would look lovely in shades of turquoise, green, and maybe even light yellow, but apparently if you're evil, you're restricted to this bland color palette. 

Briar doesn't look as bad, but I don't love her outfit either. She's got too much pink in her hair, and the neck ruffle is doing her no favors. The dress (or what we can see of it) isn't the worst, but again, too much pink. Like Raven, Briar would really benefit from an expanded color palette - gold, cream, and blue would set off her complexion well. 

Apple is my favorite of the three, but even she has problems. What's with that strange bun atop her head,and does she really need another crown headdress? Her color palette really works for her - we've seen before how well she pulls off white, gold, and red - but again, more color variety would be very nice.

Overall, my feeling regarding these new items is that of letdown. The American Girl items seem to be either new versions of previous designs (the Frosty Fair Isle outfit, while not half bad, reminds me too much of Chrissa's much nicer winter set, as does the Snow Much Fun set) or strange new ideas that are supposed to be trendy. After the incredible job with the summer release and even the spring one, I feel very disappointed by American Girl. With the Ever After High Legacy dolls, it feels like Mattel tried too hard to make the dolls look fancy and sophisticated and ended up making them look trite and overdone. Both doll lines this year started out very strong, but now seem to be faltering, which makes me wonder exactly what went wrong. 

What are your thoughts on the newly released and revealed items?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beat the Heat: Make Denim Cutoffs

With August ending this week, this will be the last Beat the Heat post. I'm working on a fun new tutorial series that I hope you'll enjoy. Here's a tutorial for a fun summer staple, denim cutoff shorts.

 Measure your doll for a pair of pants, and color them in.

Cut them out and trim them to fit your doll.

With a pocket or craft knife, gently shred the bottom edges of the shorts until they look frayed.

If you want, you can also add some distressed patches on the legs. Try not to shred so much that you cut through the pants.

Pair them with a cute shirt and a pair of sneakers or sandals for a casual ensemble. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and I can't wait to show you the new tutorials I have planned. Is there anything particular you want to see?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

More Photos of the New Dolls

It's been a while since my last Sunday photo shoot! This week I decided to focus some more on the Ever After High set. I made them on a whim, but I'm surprised by how much I like photographing them.  

The outfits the dolls were released with are cute, but I can't wait until they get new ones so I can switch the outfits. In the meantime, maybe I'll make them some Monster High clothes so they're not stuck in the same dresses all the time. I love the freedom of being able to do things like that for my paper dolls when they are impossible for plastic dolls. 

Please can I keep it?
The puppy is a generic prop for use as an extra in pet scenes, but he looks so cute with Fiona that I may just give him to her. Any royal-sounding name suggestions that aren't Prince or Charming?

Aisling's hair is one of the paper doll items that I am most proud of. It took forever to get the bouffant at the back looking just right, and the bangs were just the worst. It all worked out, though, and I love how it looks like the hair has actual texture. I can't wait to see the other designs that Mattel has in mind for her.

"So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a white rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her." - Alice in Wonderland

I hope you enjoyed these photos! Any favorite outfits that you think the dolls would look good in?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Meet the New Dolls Part 2

I've long been a fan of Colette Denali's Flickr stream and her stunning custom dolls. When my dolls vanished, I decided to take the opportunity to make a few for my new collection (though all similarities between her characters and mine are completely coincidental).

Meet Kiernan and Alina! Kiernan is a MAG 33 with Caroline's eyes. Alina is a Jess doll with Kit's eyes and Kanani's shortened wig (just like Perrin, I know; I have a thing for that combination). I'm not thrilled with Kiernan's hair style, so I may change her hairpiece soon. 

 When I drew Alina, I worried that the angle of her eyebrows made her look sad, but with her hair in place I think her eyebrows make her look mischievous or disbelieving. I like how they give her face so much more character.

 I'm not completely satisfied with how Kiernan turned out, but I think it's a simple matter of fixing her hair. The doll that she's based on is really beautiful, so I'm irritated that Kiernan falls so short.
I don't know how their storyline will interact with that of the Ever After High girls, or if it will at all. I see the EAH dolls more as photo shoot material, whereas Kiernan and Alina will probably have a full plot line in photo sets.

By the way, what did you think of the denim cutoff shorts? I'm working on a tutorial for them, and I hope you like it!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meet the New Dolls Part 1

All the dolls and their things mysteriously disappeared while I was out of town last week, so I had to remake everything. The good news is that I've come up with some fun new tutorial ideas and storage solutions that I can't wait to share with you! Some more good news is that I've finally gotten a new computer (you may recall earlier in the summer that I mentioned my previous computer was beyond repair), so hopefully it will be much easier to post pictures.

Without further ado, here is the first part of my new collection series - meet Fiona, Madeline, and Aisling!

Ever since Mattel's spinoff Ever After High line came out, I've wanted to make some of the dolls. They're not perfect by any means, but I'm still happy with how they turned out. 

For the curious, Fiona is based on Apple White, and Aisling (pronounced "Ash-lin"; it's an Irish name meaning "dream") is based on Ashlynn Ella. I will probably make Raven once Mattel releases a new outfit for her (I'm not a fan of the outfit she comes with), but I'm not so sure about Briar, nor the other characters that are expected to be released in Wave 2.

The girls enjoying a picnic of Japanese food

Have you made a doll of this sort? Any advice on how to better draw their faces?

Stay tuned for the rest of the new collection series, including more dolls and some new and innovative tutorials!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Contest Winner Announced!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the paper doll design contest! I'm sorry that you had to wait so long to find out the results, but now I can reveal that the winner is...

Pepper! Please contact me before noon on Saturday to claim your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. I hope to hold another contest soon, and I'm very grateful to everyone who participated in this one. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Emma's Adventures - Guest Post from Alexandra

I always love to see the dolls you make, and am always happy to feature them on Paper Doll World. These photos are from Alexandra of Paper Doll Art, featuring her doll Emma and her adventures outside.

The pink flower is almost a perfect match for Emma's shirt.

I don't know the name of this plant (is it a crocus?), but the purple flowers suit Emma's coloring well.

Emma by a boulder, in Alexandra's favorite outfit. 

Emma in bed, reflecting on her adventure in the garden. 

Thank you Alexandra! Be sure to check out her site at

If you want to submit a guest post, please let me know in the comments or by email at

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Contest Results Information

Many of you have been asking about the results of the contest, so I'm going to address that quickly. I'm waiting for one judge to confirm their position and to send me scores. I will post the winner as soon as I get that information. Thank you all for your patience and for entering the contest. You are the best!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Entry 8 - Maria (Malia)

The doll's name is Maria. She is 10 years old and wants to help save sea turtles. Backstory: She had to do a report on sea turtles and is trying to save as many as she can and that is what must of the outfits are based on. My inspiration for her is me and a picture of a swimmer on google images. Now on to Maria! 

The first picture is me in my pjs. They are so awesome because there my favorite colors. Green and blue!

Then the second pic is of my casual outfit. You may not be able to see but it says save on it.

The third one is my fancy dress. Its like Sagie's only its green with sliver sparkles. 

This fourth photo on is me with all of my accessories which are my green and white striped purse, a save the sea turtles poster, towel and surfboard.

Then the last photo is me and the rest of my collection. 


Thank you Maria and Malia!

This contest is over, but you can learn more about it here:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Entry 7 - Annie and Sam (Clara)

My inspiration was a camp counselor from Camp Green Cove named Brooke.

Strawberry Ice Cream

            Annie groaned and rolled over in her sleep.  Then, mumbling something about a snooze button, got out of bed.  She began pulling on her wrinkled blue shirt, too-big khakis and heavy work boots and remembered that she had to wake up Sam.  Annie stumbled into Sam’s room, and began shaking him awake.
            “Stop, that tickles,” Sam screeched.
            “Then get up, and get dresses, Annie said, equally loud.  Sam rolled out of bed and pulled on an outfit similar to Annie’s.  After that, laughing and running, they raced down the stairs.
            Her mother and father, already awake at the time, reminded them not to run down the stairs, and served them breakfast.
            “I have some exciting news,” their mother said.  “Your Aunt Leora is getting married.”
            “What!” said Annie, almost spitting out her orange juice.  “You mean we’re gonna have to go to the wedding?”
            “Yes,” their mother answered, “and I told them that we will make our strawberry ice cream for the wedding.  Now, James,” she said, addressing Annie’s father, “should Annie work in the fields or in the kitchen?”  She shot a warning look at Sam.  “And before you ask, since it’s raining, we will study in the morning.”
            Sam frowned, then sighed and finished his breakfast.  Annie did the same.

            Math took place in their mother’s room about 30 minutes after breakfast.  They all sat down and began to fill out a worksheet.
            “Mom,” Sam said, “I don’t get a question!”
            “Let’s look in your great grandma’s Math book.
            “No!” Sam screeched.  “I will not get it ever more!”  All the same, he sat down with his mom as she began to speak, but about halfway through the sentence, he looked like he would fall asleep.
            “The math book strikes again,” Annie giggled and continued on her worksheet.
            Soon enough it was free time.  Sam went to his room to play with the cars Aunt Patsy had given him.  Annie went to the barn to feed the chickens.
            Lunch was quick but a little less thank quiet.  Sam was in an uproar about not being able to feed the pigs.  Mom didn’t want him falling in the mud and Dad didn’t want him spilling the slop.  So he grumbled while finishing his meal.
            In the afternoon Annie went to feed the pigs.  Peter, her pet pig, scampered up to her.  She gave them the doughnut she had left over from breakfast, and he gobbled it up immediately.  Annie smiled and went and dumped the slop in the pig’s trough.
            As she walked over to the barn, she saw her dad trying to teach Sam how to bridle a horse.  Unfortunately for the horse, Sam kept trying to stick the bit into his nose.
            “Hi Dad,” I said.  “Is there anything I can do to help?”
            “Sure,” he said. Can you go put the plow on Moosaic?”
            “Sure, Dad,” Annie replied.  The rest of the afternoon Annie helped Dad plow the field.  At dinner there was discussion about Aunt Leora’s wedding.  Then they went to bed.
            The next few days went by like a flash.  Soon it was market day.  Everybody got up and helped load all of the leftover eggs, milk, corn and pastries.  Then they got in the truck and drove to town.  When they got out, Annie and her dad began to unload the boxes, while Sam and Mom found our tent and tables. 
In the middle of the day, they packed up their stuff and went to find somewhere to eat.  They sat down at a pizza parlor and ordered pepperoni for Sam and olive for Annie.
            “Hey!” Sam said.  “Why can’t I have ketchup on my pizza?”  The waitress hurriedly offered to bring some ketchup.
            “No,” said Mom.  “Sam will just have to do without.”  The finished their meal and left a gracious tip for the waitress.
            They hurried down the street and mom dragged them into a store.  She sent Sam off with dad and pulled me over to a dress display.  She reached over and pulled out the dressiest dress of the bunch.  It was a purple ankle-length dress with a belted empire waist and green undershirt.
            When Annie tried to protest, Mom answered, “Don’t worry, you look fine.”
When we met back, Sam had the same look on his face as I did.  We went back to our tent and packed up to go home.
            Saturday was wedding day.  Annie’s job was to look after her cousin, the flower girl, Darcy.  The wedding was about to start and Sam and Darcy were at the front… except… where were they?  Annie looked around.  She glanced at the clock.  She had five minutes until the ceremony started, so she stepped out of the lineup and hurried down the hall.  She spotted one of Darcy’s flowers… four minutes.  She saw Sam’s jacket… three minutes.  Then she heard muffled laughter in the closet.  Quickly, Annie opened the door and found Sam and Darcy… two minutes. 
            Annie grabbed Darcy and Sam and dragged them down the hall… one minute.  She dropped them in the front, just as the line was moving forward.  Annie quickly slipped back in line as well. 
            The rest of the wedding was a success, and the strawberry ice cream was a BIG success – everyone had some – event Darcy.
            At home, her mom congratulated her.  “Hey, Mom,” Annie said, “I think it would be nice to install an alarm clock.” 

Thank you Clara and Annie!
This contest is over, but you can learn more about it here:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Who Wore It Best?

One of my favorite Etsy stores is L'Atelier de Sitara, so I thought it would be fitting to make some of the outfits in the "Yearbook" line for fall. In this round of "Who Wore It Best?" Violet and Perrin are modeling the "Most Artistic" dress and shirt.

Perrin wore it with a floral scarf (also part of the "Most Artistic" outfit), a turquoise ring, and the brown sandals from the sweater outfit.

Violet added the necklace from the set, as well as a red flower hair clip and the boots the parade set.  

Whose look do you think is better? 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Entry 6 - Jordy (Dollygirl)

Name: Jordyn Emily Walters
Age: 12

Hi! I’m Jordyn Emily Walters, but everyone calls me Jordy! Right now I’m wearing my medieval princess dress my mom made! My mom is a dressmaker, and I think she’s the absolute BEST! The dress is mostly made of a heavy, velvety material, and it’s lined with satin! It also has some taffeta in parts! It’s a long, flowing, pink gown, with super long sleeves. It has a blue necklace, detachable collar, tiny blue slippers, and a princess hat! It’s simply gorgeous!

 This is my nature outfit! I love wearing it everywhere, especially on hikes! It has a cute pink butterfly t-shirt, blue denim shorts, and neon orange hiking boots! Everything’s so comfy!

 Here are both of my beds. I have two, because I have two different personalities! There’s the princessy dress-up side of me, which goes with the pink bed, and then there’s my nature loving side, which goes with the blue butterfly bed! They’re both soft and warm!

And here I am in the pink bed! Don’t I look comfy?

 Ah, the fairy costume! I absolutely ADORE this outfit! It has a little summery blue dress with pink flowers, a wand with a pink star on top, a little tiara, and my absolute favorite, the wings! The wings are made out of light pink silk, patterned with little hot pink hearts, and it has wires inside to hold it’s shape! I just love playing dress-up!

These are my pajamas! There’s a pink satin tank top, purple silk bell-bottom PJ shorts, and fuzzy purple slippers! They’re so, so comfy! I love them!

I love this dress! It’s my school uniform! I pair with a blue necklace, and the orange hiking boots from my nature outfit! Most kids hate their school uniform, but I love mine! It’s made of brown wool, with a stiff white collar and an attached brown belt! It’s absolutely darling!

Thank you Dollygirl and Jordy!

This contest is closed, but you can learn more about it here:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Entry 5 - Skylar Brown (Alexandra)

Skylar Brown is a very smart and athletic girl. The outfits above each show her personality. The green and white sundress is for studying in the park, the swimsuit is for her swim meets and the track suit is for when she runs. Those are all hobbies of hers. Directly below her outfits are her accessories. The textbook is for studying at the park, the sunglasses are for swimming, and the ribbon she won at a track race. 

The picture above is Skylar at the park. Under her is a checkered red and white picnic blanket, and on that is a picnic basket, and her textbook. Beside her is a bridge leading into a pond.

Above is Skylar relaxing on a pool float after a swim meet.

Above is Skylar wearing her first place ribbon on her track suit preparing for a jog.

Inspiration for Skylar: I based the doll on myself. For example, I like swimming and running.

Thank you Alexandra and Skylar! 
Want to enter the contest to win a sheet of the latest AG releases? Go here: 
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